I wasn’t sure what to write on this incredible day when Star Trek turns FIFTY YEARS OLD!
I didn’t want to let the moment pass without saying at least something. But what? Then a few days ago, I received a message from a podcaster who was still working on an interview I’d done with him:
To be honest with you, I’m pretty much over Star Trek at this point. When I can finally bring myself to finish this episode I’m gonna upload it to the network and then I’m done with Star Trek fandom. There’s plenty of stuff to spend my time and money on. I’ll post you as soon as the episode is up.
This really broke my heart, mostly because it wasn’t the only message like this I’d seen recently. Some members on the SMALL ACCESS group had expressed similar sentiments, as had others here and there.
I understand the reason for being frustrated or even angry at the moment–with the studios, with other fans, with Star Trek in general. But then I started remembering all the reasons I chose to become a Trekkie in the first place. Heck, I sometimes wonder if it was actually the other way around and Star Trek chose ME! But however I got here, I can’t quit you, Star Trek! I can’t even imagine doing so…no matter how many lens flares I see or how many fan film guidelines I read.
So here’s my little celebration of Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary: 50 moments we’ve all shared over the years as fans. Even if you don’t recognize all 50, hopefully you’ll remember enough to feel that Star Trek magic again. Maybe, if you’re contemplating walking away from Star Trek, this trip down (Jonathan) Memory Lane will help you remember why you came to Star Trek in the first place.
It was hard to choose only 50 moments, so please feel free to add more moments of your own in the comments section…
Admit it…even though it was just a bulky rubber suit, you thought the Gorn totally rocked (especially we he threw rocks)!
Speaking of rocks, that moment when you discovered that this “devil” was actually just a terrified mother protecting her unborn children…
C’mon, how awesome were those TOS Klingons…and they certainly brought out the best (and worst) in Captain Kirk.
“He knows, Doctor. He knows.”
“Captain Kirk, I shall consider it!” (Best…beard…EVER!)
“Gentlemen, I suggest you beam me aboard…” (Even without remastered digital FX, you were on the edge of your seat the first time you saw this, weren’t you?)
Founding members of the Federation, Spock’s parents, Kirk stabbed, an Orion spy disguised as an Andorian, Kirk showing his tactical wizardry…how many times did Trek episodes just NAIL IT???
Nothing says Star Trek quite like being buried in tribbles…!
Everyone say it with me: “It’s……..green.”
Yes, this happened…
…and yes, network censors, THIS happened, too!
Tholians–they take the time to do a job right…assuming the enemy doesn’t have at least one working thruster.
Even when Star Trek was hitting viewers over the head with a moral lesson, they still did it in STYLE!
Sure, it was “just” a Saturday morning cartoon, but all of our favorite characters were back, baby!
That moment when you first put on a Star Trek uniform (yeah, that’s me on the right back in 1973)…
That moment your son wears a TNG uniform and sits on Levar Burton’s lap for a photo….
Gazing for hours at the Franz Joseph blueprints for the most awesome and beautiful space vessel ever…no bloody A, B, C, D, or E!
And no matter how beautiful you thought the original Enterprise was, remember when you first saw the magnificent refit?
Go on, say it…we’ll wait.
You Klingon sons! You’ve killed my bastard!
“And Admiral, it is the Enterprise.” (Yeah, I know it was actually the USS Ranger, but still a magical scene.)
THIS finally happened!
Each moment you realized how mind-blowingly AMAZING a Star Trek novel could be!
Man or machine?
Let’s make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise.
So, um, this happened…
…and then Riker said “Fire!” and then we all had to wait three and a half frickin’ months!
Worf got kicked out of the Klingon club???
Spock on TNG??? We must be dreaming!!!
My favorite groundskeeper, Boothby.
And really, how incredible was it to actually have WHOOPI GOLDBERG on our show???
Make room for Scotty!
Kinda makes you wonder how much Picard had to drink last night…
Remember how DS9 accurately portrayed a post-9/11 paranoid society…five and a half years BEFORE the Patriot Act?
And you thought that interracial kiss was controversial!
Admit it: you cried. I cried. I still cry. We all cry.
Who knew Ferengi were into cosplay???
The perfect way to celebrate 30 years of Star Trek…can you believe this was TWO DECADES AGO???
That moment when Dukat discovers that Sisko left his baseball on DS9…
…and that moment when Sisko comes back to reclaim it!
And now Trekkies everywhere can have a proper Klingon wedding!
That moment when you realized that you kinda wouldn’t mind if Tuvix WASN’T split back into Tuvok and Neelix…
Well, the USS Prometheus wasn’t exactly a TARDIS, but it was sure fun watching the two Doctors!
The moment when you realized that the cute Borg chick in the sexy cat suit that they brought in to replace Kes is actually an accomplished actor and is now the most compelling character on the show!
Every fan dreams of being the hero. Hooray for Reg Barclay for finding the Voyager!
That moment in the first season when you watched “Dear Doctor” and realized how good ENTERPRISE could actually be…
…and that moment in the beginning of the fourth season where you were re-reminded of how good ENTERPRISE could be…
Seriously, how totally awesomely awesome is Shran????
That moment when you first met Empress Hoshi Sato…yowza!
Man! Is that 50 already??? I’ve got so many more: Picard playing the flute in “The Inner Light.” Kirk and Spock dressed as gangsters. General Chang quoting Shakespeare in the original Klingon. Any scene with Vic Fontaine in it. The saucer section of the Enterprise-D crashing in “Generations.” The Enterprise-E fighting the Borg Cube. Voyager and Equinox cruising alongside each other. The Romulan commander playing cat and mouse with the Enterprise in “Balance of Terror.” Gowron. Martok. Species 8472. Spock meeting himself in “Yesteryear.” Finally finding out how the Klingons lost their bumpy foreheads. William Shatner shouting “Get a life!” to a convention full of Trekkies on SNL. Anything from JJ Trek (I’m sure I could find SOMETHING!).
I need another 50 years to fit it all in!!!
And that’s my point, I suppose. There is so much to Star Trek…much, much more than fan film guidelines and fans arguing about fan film guidelines. Much, much more than apparent corporate greed and a subscription-based new TV series. Star Trek is not only about what the studios make and give to us; it’s about what WE FANS make of Star Trek, too. It always has been. And I’m not just talking fan films or fan fiction or cosplay. I am talking EVERYTHING…from reading a Trek comic or novel to debating at length who the best captain was or which series blew the others away (DS9, of course!).
If you’re thinking of walking away from Trek fandom, please hear me when I say: “Don’t.” Scroll down this page again and then type in one of your own moments in the comments section. Or type in as many as you want…there’s an endless supply! Let that be your anchor. Let that be your last battlefield. Star Trek needs its fans, now more than ever.
Read Kirk’s words in this one final moment from Star Trek history that marked the revival of the franchise from a near-death oblivion:
“Dammit, Bones, I need you…badly.”
Star Trek will live on and prosper as long as there are fans. Believe in it. Love it. Stay with it. The human adventure is still just beginning…
HAPPY 50th ANNIVERSARY, STAR TREK!